SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$44.99

DEVELOPER
Electronic Arts

PUBLISHER
Electronic Arts

RELEASE
08/99

Sled Storm Review

By: John Doe


Snowmobiling is a dangerous sport. Where I live, there are at least a dozen casualties each winter due to poor judgement while driving one of those speeding death machines. Luckily Electronic Arts has now moved the sport indoors where the only damage you'll inflict on yourself is lockjaw from smiling so much. Sled Storm is one of the best playing and looking racing games available on the PSX.


Highs:
Lows:

As many of you know Beetle Adventure Racing for the N64 is one of my favorite racers of all time. The immaculate and imaginative level designs are genius. Sled Storm follows suit by not only including short cuts in the tracks, but also making them integral to placing first.

Sled Storm's snow effects are as good as 1080 Snowboarding on N64. I have never seen snow look this good on the PlayStation. Of course, you may ask, "How hard is it to make snow? It's just white." I guess that's how all of the other game programmers thought of it too, because nothing comes close to Sled Storm's powdery blanket. I'm Canadian so that makes me an instant authority on snow. John Doe Knows Snow. That's my slogan. Of course you won't always be on snow. Each track will have you traveling over water, ice flows, rooftops or the heads of little animals. Awww... Look at the nice bunny on the- Oops. Don't tell the kids. Umm, it was like that when I got here. The internal organ fairy must have come and taken them away from Mr. Bunny for being evil. Yes, that's it. Don't cry, kids. That bunny would have been gnawing on your jugular the moment you turned your back on it. What's that red meat on my snowmobile you ask? Umm... Okay! It was me!! The jig's up! Now I'll have to kill you all! I'm not going back to prison for anybody! --- Okay Fantasy Theater is over. Applause. Bow. Receive Roses. Now back to the review already in progress.

The control is spot on, but I found myself gravitating toward the digital pad over the analog control for two reasons: 1) I found the digital control more responsive and tighter. 2) I found the tricks easier to execute with the digital pad. Luckily performing tricks is very easy which is a bonus, because you will need to master them to earn points while racing. If you win the race, points convert to cash, which you can then use to upgrade your sled. If you blow the race, you'll earn nothing but disdain and ridicule.

The ability to purchase upgrades for your snowmobile is an excellent way to make you strive to be #1. As I mentioned earlier, earning points in the Championship Mode by performing tricks or finding shortcuts will net you the cash equivalent if you win. Take the cash and blow it on what you deem necessary to turn your sled into a rocket on snow. Sled Storm gives you the ability to accumulate cash. Win a few races and you can head for the shop and go nuts with more dough in your account, enabling you to buy those expensive headlights for night driving or whatever else you decide.

In the Super Sno-Cross Mode points are earned by doing tricks, but you will not earn cash for upgrades here. The idea here is to unlock special characters by earning enough points. You'll have to outfit your snowmobile with some choice parts if you're going to out-perform everybody in Super Sno-Cross.

Sled Storm also allows 2-4 player races. The two player mode looks great and doesn't suffer from a lot of "draw in", which decreases the ability to see far into the distance. Unfortunately I wasn't able to play in the 4 player mode for this review.

In regards to the tunes in this game I was blown away to see such bands as Rob Zombie and Econoline Crush on the soundtrack. SS features great music and an excellent choice for this game. I'm partial to Econoline Crush because I used to know Trevor Hurst, the lead singer.

Complaint Dept. Ha! Good luck. Aside from experiencing a little bit of motion sickness due to the constant up and down nature of the game, there is little else to report. Except for maybe that I do think that it was irresponsible of the programmers to reward running over the rabbit. Our society is cruel enough without this sort of thing. Okay maybe I'm getting soft, but you know there is going to be some idiot out there who will be purposely aiming for wildlife while driving his snowmobile, because he thought it was cool in Sled Storm. We can only hope he becomes a sadistic statistic before he does any harm to the creatures on this planet.

This game seemed to appear out of thin air, without much hype or fanfare and that is what makes Sled Storm all that more appealing. It's a fantastic game that you may have never heard about. How often does that happen? My advice is to check this game out as soon as possible. Buy it now or place it on your Christmas or birthday lists. You won't be disappointed.

OVERALL
9.5

GRAPHICS
9.5

CONTROL
9.0

MUSIC/FX
10.0

FRUSTRATION
4.0

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